A new study was released by Duke's Physics Department on August 7th, 2020, which studied the effectiveness of various face-masks.
The mandate for face-masks in schools and public places have led to a global shortage, resulting in many people making their own home made masks. It is assumed that wearing something is better than nothing, but many types of masks have not been properly tested.
In the Duke Study, they measured the transmission of respiratory droplets during regular speech.
The results found that some masks were pretty useful, while others were actually worse than nothing.
The most effective mask was the N95 mask. Surgical masks and cotton masks, which many people have been making at home, also performed well.
Neck fleeces, also called gaiter masks and often used by runners, were the least effective. In fact, wearing a fleece mask resulted in a higher number of respiratory droplets because the material seemed to break down larger droplets into smaller particles that are more easily carried away with air.
Folded bandannas and knitted masks also performed poorly and did not offer much protection.
"We were extremely surprised to find that the number of particles measured with the fleece actually exceeded the number of particles measured without wearing any mask," Fischer said. "We want to emphasize that we really encourage people to wear masks, but we want them to wear masks that actually work." CNN
So in conclusion, gaiter masks were worse than nothing.
STUDIES ON EFFECTIVENESS OF MASKS
READ THE STUDY HERE (Science Advances)
Researchers created a test to determine which masks are the least effective (CNN)
Wearing a neck gaiter may be worse than no mask at all, researchers find (Washington Post)
MASK USAGE IN EUROPE
Coronavirus: Face mask, face shield, FFP2, N95, KN95 — what's the difference? (DW, 1-19-21)
Europe’s growing mask ask: Ditch the cloth ones for medical-grade coverings (The Washington Post, 1-20-21)